The last day of our series of income generating activities for young mothers was packed with life skills that had the potential to make significant and positive impacts on their lives. On July 20th, Ryan and Nenne, our CameroonFDP volunteers, started off the day with an icebreaker based on the importance of time management – the foundation of any successful person.
After this activity, the focus turned to utilizing local plants for multiple purposes. The Moringa Oleifera is a versatile tree that grows little pods, which can be used for anything from food to pharmaceutical products to water purification. The tree is drought-resistant, making it perfect for unpredictable weather conditions. Kaity, one of our Peace Corps volunteers, gave the girls some Moringa seeds and taught them how to plant, maintain, and harvest the pods. Moringa is not only sustainable, but also naturally contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and protein which makes it a nutritious crop.
The entire workshop focused on presenting the girls with realistic business strategies that have been shown to work. The second presentation by Janexis, a Peace Corps volunteer, showed the girls how to make paper beads made with paper, scissors, glue, a ruler, and tooth picks. The aspect of including jewelry as a potential product made having a business a little more fun for the young mothers.
The next presentation was done by Ashley, another Peace Corps member, on business strategy. She taught the ladies about different aspects of marketing and how to use marketing to improve their businesses. She relayed the 5 P’s which stand for product, price, place, people and promotion. Ashley showed them how each subtopic contributed to their success. These aspects all tied together with Ryan’s icebreaker about time-management from the beginning of the day. All-together, these lessons showed the women how to make money that would increase their income in order for them to take care of their children.
Ryan and Alyssa, concluded the program with a birth control and HIV seminar. They talked about the importance of condoms for both the protection against unwanted sexually transmitted diseases and for future unplanned pregnancies. These kinds of lessons help to protect the long-term health of the mother and any future babies.
For ten young mothers, it had been a wonderful, enriching journey. In only one weekend, we taught them life and business skills that could positively impact their lives and the lives of their children. CameroonFDP thanked the young mothers for their participation, enthusiasm, and open minds. A huge thank you goes out to the members of the Peace Corps who sacrificed their time and money to teach these girls and make a difference in their lives. The workshop was the premier of a program that is sure to be preserved due to such a positive response.